Design board settles on big new mural to solve Capitol Hill building’s color problem

The mural is planned to cover this giant blank cement wall currently facing the FAME Church parking lot

Murals solve everything. The fix for this Capitol Hill building forced to return to design review this week because it has the wrong color siding will be a giant mural running the length of the western wall below the Broadcast Apartments. No matter the solution, the situation is going to be a challenging and potentially expensive outcome for the developer.

The East Design Review Board settled on the solution Wednesday night in an extraordinary session for the body that had it questioning the very essence of its own existence. “Should we accept a $5,000 mural vs. a $50,000 fix?” one board member asked.

At issue was the bronze-colored siding used across the entirety of the completed and occupied Broadcast building, the champagne-colored siding that was supposed to be used on the structure’s vertical “fins” but wasn’t because the developer says the material was not available, and, of course, what to do about it. Continue reading

Merlot, pinot, and chardonnay on tap with less waste the plan for Capitol Hill’s Footprint Wine

Seattle is beer country with more breweries than any other city in the nation. Kenneth Dillon, a Seattle wine aficionado, has decided to do something about evening the score — and doing it with a new, more environmentally friendly approach.

Dillon plans to open his own unique Footprint Wine bar and tap on E Madison by September.

“I’m happy to now be joining the Capitol Hill wine community and hope to give a little back to the community one glass of wine at a time,” Dillon said.

Before realizing he could work with wine as a career, Dillon spent 10 years in human resources, including four at the University of Washington. He always had a passion for the grape since it was legal for him to drink it, but didn’t actually break into the industry until 2016. Continue reading

Design review slated for Capitol Hill apartment building’s missing ‘champagne’

For lack of “metallic champagne,” Capitol Hill’s newly completed Broadcast Apartments building will, indeed, face a rare post-construction design review Wednesday night. This public comment letter might sum up many reactions to the meeting:


But the effort to review the change in materials used on the project is required, the city told CHS last month when we reported on the brewing color issues at the 1420 E Madison development.
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City says missing color means Capitol Hill’s completed Broadcast Apartments must go back to design review

The 70 or so residents living inside and the owners of an incoming restaurant don’t seem to mind one bit but a newly constructed Capitol Hill building has a major color problem and is likely headed back to the design review board to sort things out.

“We think it’s an extremely attractive building. It’s been very successful,” Trent Mummery tells CHS about the Metropolitan Homes development now standing on the northwest corner of 15th and Madison. “We’re puzzled why this issue is even coming up.”

The date hasn’t yet been set but the Broadcast Apartments could end up being one of those unusual — but not totally unheard of — Seattle projects to be approved by the design review board after its construction has been completed. Continue reading

Central District’s Williams remembered as business — and neighborhood — leader

Williams in a Juneeteenth parade (Image: CHS/Central District News)

DeCharlene Williams, one of the most visible advocates of preservation and inclusive growth in the Central District in her decades heading the Central Area Chamber of Commerce, has died, her family announced this weekend.

“This morning at 9:06 AM I lost one of my best friends, my mom DeCharlene Williams to uterine sarcoma cancer,” her daughter Rita Green posted Sunday. Continue reading

As Rev. McKinney remembered, his Mount Zion Baptist Church set to become Seattle landmark

Tuesday, a celebration of the life of Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney was held at McCaw Hall following the civil rights leader’s death at the age of 91 early last month. Now, legislation is in motion to designate McKinney’s home church at 19th and Madison as an official Seattle landmark and protect the building’s architectural features.

“Landmark status is reserved for locations in our City that have been of exceptional value to social, political, architectural or community causes – and in the long history of Mount Zion Baptist Church, it has contributed greatly to all of these and more,” an announcement of the legislation from Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office reads. Continue reading

Historic Gaffney House set to hit the market, again, at 17th and Madison leaving vulnerable residents in need of new homes

After a previous real estate effort was put on hold, families with loved ones at 17th and Madison’s Gaffney House know this time it is different. Families are beginning the process of searching for new homes for their grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters after being informed the small-scale assisted living facility for residents living with dementia is being closed as part of a plan to sell off the valuable property.

“My dad is there. I’m a wreck,” one family member who contacted CHS about the notice said. “This place is a savior for a dozen and a half people.”

Dave Budd, executive director of Full Life Care which has operated the facility since it opened in 2004, confirmed the notices have been given to residents and family members as part of legal requirements as the nonprofit prepares to close down the facility and its parent Transforming Age readies the property to again hit the real estate market. Continue reading

Groups announce First Hill plan for Seattle’s ‘largest’ affordable housing building

Nonprofit developers Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing Group announced Monday morning that they are moving forward on an affordable housing project on surplus Sound Transit land on First Hill. The project will be “the largest building constructed by any affordable housing provider in Seattle, with 12 to 15 floors of housing over a floor of retail, service, and community space.”

Sound Transit has agreed to transfer to the two organizations at “zero-cost” following a November decision on what to do with the land originally acquired for a never-built First Hill light rail station at the corner of Madison and Boylston. Continue reading

Sunny days for Capitol Hill solar with plans for Miller ‘microgrid,’ five years of Bullitt Center

Happy 5th birthday, Bullitt Center

Sunday — Earth Day 2018 — Capitol Hill’s Bullitt Center at 15th and Madison celebrated five years at “the greenest office building” in the world. At this point, Earth Day is probably the kind of thing we should think about all year round. A new project at Capitol Hill’s Miller Community Center is set to make the Seattle Parks facility part of an important test case for the city with plans for a $3.3 million solar microgrid to be installed in early 2019.

“Seattle is a leader in climate change, and with this project, we are adding sustainable, emission-free energy to the community,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in the announcement of the project to be funded through City Light investing $1.8 million and a $1.5 million state Clean Energy Fund matching grant from the Washington Department of Commerce. “Protecting our environment and lowering operating costs of our facilities makes good economic sense and is an important step as we move towards becoming a green economy.”

The $3.3 million “demonstration project” microgrid is expected to reduce the amount of electricity Seattle Parks buys from Seattle City Light, while saving about $4,000 annually, and about $70,000 over the 14-year life of the project, the city says. Continue reading

Man charged in Planned Parenthood crash and store assault

The man police say shattered the teeth of a victim he punched inside a nearby grocery store after crashing his car into the barriers outside E Madison’s Planned Parenthood last Wednesday has been charged for the assault and the damage but not for targeting the provider of women’s health services, according to court records filed in the case.

Charlie Armstead, 35, has been charged with second degree assault, fourth degree assault, and malicious mischief in the morning melee that included smashed cars and Planned Parenthood employees going into lockdown mode during the incident. Continue reading